Clearing the Air

by Bonnie Roberts
(last updated April 24, 2009)

Did you know that the air inside your home can easily become polluted? According to the EPA, it can actually be two to five times more polluted than the air outside your home. This can cause both major and minor health problems for your family. The pollutants can come in when you make improvements to your home: new carpet, flooring, cabinets, paint, etc. It may also come from bacteria, dust, and mold that may grow in your home. Try to determine the cause of the pollution so that you can control it. In the meantime, you'll need to clear the air in your home so your family can breathe better.

  • An obvious method for clearing the air is natural ventilation. Open windows and doors in several different rooms so that the outdoor air can blow through. In the hot summer months, do this in the evening when the air is cooler. In the winter, you can still do this kind of air exchange. Open all the doors and windows in a room for only about 30 seconds. The furniture will hold on to the heat in the room pretty well, so it won't take long for the room to return to a comfortable temperature.
  • You can also invest in a mechanical device to clear the air for you. This includes air-handling systems and outdoor-vented fans. These allow conditioned outdoor air to freshen up your indoor air continuously.

Here are some additional tips to routinely and generally clear the air in your home:

  • In the winter, be sure to change the filter on your furnace, or even upgrade to a higher-quality filter. It will trap many more of the allergens that would otherwise circulate.
  • Keep more indoor plants. These will turn the carbon dioxide in your home into oxygen. They also help cool the air in your home and can absorb dust and other particles from the air. Keep about two plants in each average-sized room.
  • Use the fan in your range hood while you're cooking. This will help to eliminate odors as they arise.
  • If something starts to smoke in the kitchen, first contain the smoke and then exhaust it. If possible, put the smoking pans or food in the oven and leave it there for 15-30 minutes. This seals away the smoke and allows the particles to settle, which you can wipe up later. Turn off any air circulation systems and shut the kitchen door, if you have one, to keep the smoky air from the other rooms. Then open a window in the kitchen, position a fan to blow out the window, and open the kitchen door a crack. The fan will blow the smoky air from the kitchen and pull in clean air from rest of the house.

Author Bio

Bonnie Roberts

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